Bar Admissions

North Carolina


Duke University, J.D., with high honors; Order of the Coif; Note and Comment Editor, Duke Law Journal

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B.; John Motley Morehead Scholar


John Wester concentrates his practice in the trials and appeals of complex civil litigation. He has prosecuted and defended numerous class action cases in both federal and state courts and has extensive experience in the North Carolina Business Court.

John routinely handles cases with a high probability of going to trial. He often enters a case after it is underway, and in some instances, at the appellate stage. His trials and appeals encompass contract, corporate governance and shareholder rights disputes, federal securities claims, ERISA actions, unfair trade practice and trade secret disputes, tax controversies and employment discrimination claims.

John has served as lead defense counsel in several noteworthy cases, including before the U.S. Supreme Court in Ford Motor v. EEOC. The decision established precedent for ending employer liability in employment discrimination cases. He was also lead counsel in the North Carolina Supreme Court for three governors who successfully challenged the General Assembly for violating constitutional separation of powers in McCrory v. Berger.

In 1994, John was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 2009-10, he served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, commercial litigation, 2003-20; labor & employment, 2005-16
  • The Best Lawyers in America, recognized in the following seven categories: bet-the-company litigation, appellate practice, commercial litigation, litigation - intellectual property, litigation - labor and employment law, litigation - mergers and acquisitions, litigation - securities, 1993-2020
    • Charlotte Litigation - Securities Lawyer of the Year, 2019
    • Charlotte Litigation - Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2013, 2018
    • Charlotte Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2015
    • Charlotte Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2014 
    • Charlotte Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2011
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006-20; Top 10 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2009-13, 2015; Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyer, 2013-20
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star, general commercial, labor and employment, intellectual property, securities, antitrust, product liability, 2012-20
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, litigation, 2007-08, 2011, 2013-15, 2019; appellate, 2018-19; employment, 2020
  • North Carolina State Bar, John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, 2019
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2018
  • Duke Law Alumni Association, Charles S. Rhyne Award for Professional Achievement, 2017
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Council for Children's Rights, Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated



News & Events





Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; Judicial Independence Committee, Chair, 2019-present; Task Force on Judicial Independence, Vice Chair, 2018-19; North Carolina Chair, 2004-06
  • Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, 2014-18
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Appellate Rules Committee, Chair, 2003-05; Committee for Judicial Independence, Co-chair, 2010-14
  • Chief Justice's Commission on the North Carolina Business Court, Appellate Process Committee, Chair, 2002-04
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow

Community Affiliations

  • Legal Aid of North Carolina and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Access to Justice Council, Chair, 2012-present
  • Higher Education Works, Board of Directors, 2019-present
  • Lynnwood Foundation, Board of Directors, 2007-present
  • North Carolina Museum of History, Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Duke Law School, Board of Visitors, 2002-present
  • University of North Carolina, Board of Visitors, 2004-08
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Directors, 2006-09
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Board of Directors, 1999-2005
  • Arts & Science Council, Chair, 1988-89
  • ArtsTeach, Inc., Chair, 2000-02
Main Menu